Manchester United are gearing up to face Watford this weekend as they make the trip to Vicarage Road, with new manager Claudio Ranieri set to take charge of just his third home game since assuming responsibility at the London club.
Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to be in the side to face the newly-promoted Hornets and Ranieri has reserved special praise for Manchester United’s talismanic striker.
Speaking to reporters ahead of Saturday’s game, Ranieri hailed Ronaldo as ‘one of the best in the world’ before jokingly asking Manchester United to give the striker up to relieve Ole Gunnar Solskjaer of some pressure.
🗣️ "Give me Cristiano, please, it's no problem for me, I'll let him play all the minutes."
Claudio Ranieri speaks about Cristiano Ronaldo as Watford face Manchester United on Saturday. pic.twitter.com/lmbXhmbtkH
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) November 18, 2021
“Cristiano is one of the best players in the world,” Ranieri told Sky Sports, as seen above. “He’s good for football because I think a lot of young boys are looking at Cristiano, are looking at the best players in the world – it’s a good attraction for football.”
When quizzed on if having the pressure of picking Ronaldo every week makes Solskjaer’s job harder, Ranieri was quick to jokingly dismiss those claims.
“No, no – give me Cristiano, give me, please! It’s no problem for me, I’ll let him play all the minutes.”
SN’s verdict on Ranieri’s comments and Ronaldo’s impact at Man Utd…
Ranieri has always struck me as a very likeable person and his latest response to a rather open question is a testament to just that. The Italian manager remains one of the most famous in football and his diplomatic approach was once again on show as he prepares his team for this weekend’s game.
Ronaldo, who sealed a sensational return to Manchester United towards the end of last summer’s transfer window, has started his second stint at the club in inspired form.
The Portugal international has scored nine goals in just 12 appearances for The Reds, which includes goals in all four of his side’s Champions League games.
So far, it’s been a disappointing season for Solskjaer’s side but they have Ronaldo to thank for much of what remains of it.